• University of Wisconsin

    UW–Madison employee dies from injuries sustained in a fall

    A University of Wisconsin–Madison employee has died from injuries sustained from a fall while working on campus on Nov. 30. The employee, Roberto Vergara, began working at the university in September of 2009. He was employed in custodial services for the university’s Division of Facilities Planning & Management. The incident occurred early Saturday morning. Vergara fell when leaving a building and hit his head on the sidewalk in the 200 block of Bernard Court. A fellow employee called 911, and Vergara was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. He died from his injuries on Dec. 2. “We are all saddened to learn that Roberto passed away. We are keeping…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Remembering Heidi Dvinge

    On September 20, 2019, University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry Heidi Dvinge passed away unexpectedly. Her colleagues describe her tragic loss as “devastating.” Dvinge had been on campus for a little more than two years, but in that time, she built a number of meaningful collaborations, inside and out of her department, Biomolecular Chemistry, and the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Heidi Dvinge’s research program was dedicated to understanding how aberrant RNA processing contributes to diseases such as cancer, and how these changes might be exploited to allow new therapies. Photo: Robin Davies “We started working together on some grant submissions even before she got here,” says…

  • University of Wisconsin

    ‘Dr. Dirt’ worked with farmers to address water resource challenges

    University of Wisconsin–Madison emeritus professor Fred Madison, known fondly as Dr. Dirt, died June 3 at the age of 82. Madison used his extensive knowledge of Wisconsin’s soils and his warm personality to help farmers and protect the state’s environment. A memorial service for Madison will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 17 at Park Hall in Sauk City. Madison spent much of his career assessing the effect of agriculture on the surface and groundwater resources of Wisconsin while working with farm families to help address environmental challenges. Fred Madison described layered features of vertically exposed prairie soil during a soil science class field trip in 2014. Photo: Jeff…

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    Jim Martin made his mark in sports and law as player, coach, judge

    Jim Martin was an athlete who became a coach who became a lawyer who became a judge. It was perhaps an unusual path — one that Martin certainly never planned. But when he saw opportunities, he went for them. Martin, who became the second African-American judge on the Dane County Circuit Court, died June 29 at age 74 after a brief illness. Jim Martin wasn’t as tough on the players as some of the other coaches, but he did emphasize that athletes weren’t at the university just to play sports. UW Archives Martin was an assistant coach for the UW football team from 1970 to 1974 and a student at…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Millar was math professor, noted UW–Madison research administrator

    For Terrence (Terry) Millar, UW–Madison professor emeritus of mathematics and former associate dean for physical sciences in the Graduate School and assistant to the provost, science education was always about the excitement of discovery. Terry Millar That discovery could be in the form of neutrinos piercing the crystal clear ice at the South Pole, or in the form of a basic science experiment in a classroom in a Madison elementary school. Millar, 70, passed away on March 9 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was one of the world’s foremost researchers in computable model theory, a branch of mathematical logic, and is remembered by UW colleagues as a mathematician…

  • University of Wisconsin

    UW-Madison mourns renowned sociologist Erik Olin Wright

    Professor Erik Olin Wright, Vilas Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, passed away on January 23 at age 71. Wright, who spent his career at the UW-Madison Department of Sociology, was a giant in the field of contemporary Marxian sociology. He wrote 15 books and more than 100 research papers, many focused on class and capitalism. Wright, like Karl Marx, believed in the importance of imagining alternatives to capitalism, and in his 2010 book, Envisioning Real Utopias, he argued for putting “the social back into socialism” and offered democratic and egalitarian alternatives to the capitalist system. Erik Olin Wright “To a much greater degree than most,…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Muhammad Memon, renowned Urdu scholar, dies at 79

    Muhammad Umar Memon, a UW-Madison professor who was an internationally renowned scholar of the Urdu language and literature, died June 3. He was 79. Memon’s lifelong work was to raise the awareness of Urdu in the West through his scholarship and teaching, and by editing an influential Urdu journal. Muhammad Memon “Urdu is my mother tongue and the love of my life,” Memon said in a 2002 interview. Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and is used by roughly 100 million people, mainly in India and Pakistan. Born to a prominent family in Aligarh, India, near Delhi, and educated at Pakistan’s Karachi University, Memon attended Harvard University on a…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Former UW-Madison Chancellor Irving Shain dies at 92

    Irving Shain, a chemistry professor and UW–Madison chancellor emeritus who advanced the university’s interests in China and established University Research Park, died peacefully Tuesday, March 6, in Madison after a brief illness. He was 92. Irving Shain at a 1978 commencement ceremony. Photo: Norman Lenburg/UW–Madison Archives Shain joined the UW–Madison faculty in 1952, later chairing the Department of Chemistry from 1967 until his appointment as vice chancellor for academic affairs in 1970, serving until 1975. He was chancellor for almost a decade, from 1977 to 1986. After stepping down as chancellor, he joined the Olin Corporation as vice president and chief scientist, a post he held until 1992. During his…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Campus mourns loss of graduate student, advisor Colin Rohm, 26

    UW­–Madison graduate student Colin Rohm is being remembered by his campus colleagues as a scholar of uncommon talent and wide-ranging passions who nurtured the intellectual curiosity of thousands of his fellow students as a gifted advisor. Rohm, 26, died Nov. 21 at UW Hospital in Madison. The cause was bacterial pneumonia and complications of Type 1 diabetes, according to his family. Rohm’s campus reach was extensive. At the time of his death, he was working full-time as an academic advisor with UW Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS) while pursuing two graduate degrees and teaching two freshmen seminars. Colin Rohm Submitted image His loss will be deeply felt, says Associate Vice Provost…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Renowned biochemical engineer Edwin N. Lightfoot passes away

    Edwin Lightfoot, a legendary UW-Madison professor of chemical engineering, is pictured in the front row, second from right. He’s pictured with some of his former graduate students. Submitted photo Edwin Lightfoot, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, passed away Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, at age 92. Lightfoot was a brilliant researcher known for his ability to clearly convey complex topics in the classroom and instill a love of learning — and of chemical engineering — in his students. His students knew him as energetic, kind and, particularly in his role as a mentor, generous with his time and support. “There were very few topics on which he wasn’t extremely well-informed,…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Charles Bentley, pioneering UW-Madison glaciologist, dies

    Charles R. Bentley, an intrepid University of Wisconsin-Madison glaciologist and geophysicist who was among the first scientists to measure the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the late 1950s, died Aug. 19 in Oakland, California. He was 87. Bentley spent the bulk of his career studying the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the continent beneath it. Glaciologist Charles Bentley was one of the first scientists to measure the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Beginning in 1957, Bentley spent 25 consecutive months on the ice in Antarctica, at a time when scientists from around the world were converging on the continent as part of the International Geophysical Year. During that time, he served as…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Wunderlin embodied University Housing’s values

    Longtime University Apartments carpenter Bob Wunderlin passed away unexpectedly at work July 19 at the age of 60. Colleagues remember Wunderlin as an amazing staff member who had a strong work ethic and truly embodied University Housing’s Core Values of care, optimism, creativity, excellence, respect, integrity and stewardship. Bob Wunderlin “Bob cared about both the residents he served and his work colleagues,” says Geb Lefeber, director of apartment facilities for University Apartments. “He enjoyed the time spent talking to people and really listening to them, often initiating those conversations.” Wunderlin was known to his co-workers as optimistic and hopeful. He always greeted people with a warm hello and his infectious…

  • University of Wisconsin

    In Memoriam: “Band Mom” Phyllis Leckrone

    Phyllis Bechtold Leckrone, 81, wife of longtime UW Marching Band director Mike Leckrone, passed away Aug. 8 following a long illness. She was surrounded by family. A native of North Manchester, Ind., she and her husband met in junior high school and became childhood sweethearts. They were married 62 years. Mike and Phyllis Leckrone Gary Smith, UW Bands A dedicated educator in her own right, Phyllis Leckrone taught with the Middleton-Cross Plains school district for more than 25 years. Mike Leckrone joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969. Since then, Phyllis has served as “band mom” to thousands of marching band students. Though behind-the-scenes, her care, dedication and support touched…

  • University of Wisconsin

    UW to award Clyde Stubblefield posthumous honorary degree

    Clyde Stubblefield wasn’t just a drummer. He was an innovator and an inspiration to musicians, both in his adopted home of Madison and around the world. Stubblefield died Feb. 18 at the age of 73 from kidney disease. Before his death, he had been selected by the UW–Madison Committee on Honorary Degrees and Chancellor Rebecca Blank to receive an honorary degree May 12 at the Kohl Center prior to spring commencement. He will now receive the award, which was endorsed last fall by the UW System Board of Regents and the UW-Madison Faculty Senate, posthumously. Clyde Stubblefield “It is impossible to overstate the impact Stubblefield has had on the world…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Colleagues remember Liz Beyler Kraak

    The UW-Madison community is mourning the death of a longtime colleague and champion of helping promote the university. Liz Beyler Kraak, 69, a former broadcast and university relations specialist, died Feb. 9 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Liz Beyler Kraak She grew up in Madison and received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW-Madison in 1969. After college, Liz worked for radio station WIBA in Madison. During her time there, she was the first female reporter to become a regular in the all men’s press room at the State Capitol. After her employment with WIBA, she went on to work part-time at the Department of Natural Resources and the…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Leonard Berkowitz, influential social psychologist, dies at 89

    Leonard Berkowitz, an emeritus psychology professor whose widely cited research explored influences on aggressive behavior, died Sunday, Jan. 3, at age 89. Berkowitz joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1955 and retired in 1989. But his work never ended, and in November he completed and submitted a chapter for a soon-to-be-published book. Leonard Berkowitz “He was still intellectually active,” says Charles Snowdon, an emeritus UW–Madison psychology professor who was hired in 1969 while Berkowitz served as department chair. “That’s the sort of thing I admire in colleagues, and Len was a model of a person who always took an intellectual interest in everything going on in the…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Computer scientist and devoted educator Susan B. Horwitz dies

    Professor of Computer Sciences Susan B. Horwitz, a devoted educator and researcher noted for service to her discipline on both the university and national levels, died June 11 at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Horwitz, who was 59, had been battling stomach cancer. An expert in programming languages and software engineering, Horwitz had been a member of the UW-Madison faculty for nearly 30 years. Among many professional accomplishments, she championed the encouragement of students who might otherwise overlook opportunities in computing. Susan Horwitz “Susan’s zest for research, teaching, service and life will be sorely missed by all in UW Computer Sciences,” says department chair Mark Hill. Particularly during the last…

  • University of Wisconsin

    In memoriam: Ray D. Owen discovered immune tolerance, paved the way for organ transplantation

    The Guernsey calves were twins, but they had different fathers — the proper Guernsey and a Hereford that had jumped the fence. That much Ray Owen understood. He’d grown up on a Wisconsin dairy farm. He knew that an amorous cow could attract more than one suitor. The surprise was that each of the nonidentical twins had two kinds of blood cells, its own and those of its twin. In ordinary transfusions, that kind of mixing of blood cells often triggers a severe immunological reaction, but these calves were doing just fine. Owen, a young University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of genetics at the time, set out to explain this.…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Hans Schneider, leading mathematician, dies

    As a research mathematician, Hans Schneider devoted his life to the revival of the classical field of linear algebra. While he was being considered for tenure, a famous Russian mathematician informed a member of the tenure committee that in Russia, “we expect every mathematician to know linear algebra but it is not a field for research.” Rescued by other members of his department, Schneider realized the challenges ahead of him but committed himself nonetheless. He became instrumental in giving new stature to a branch of mathematics once regarded as old-fashioned and unworthy of serious investigation. His work in this once obscure field became a basis for the algorithms leading to…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Art Hove, administrator and campus historian, dies at 80

    Between the longevity of his time on campus and his knack for being present at key moments, Art Hove played a role in seven decades of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s history. Hove died on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Capitol Lakes Health Center in Madison. He was 80. The cause was primary lateral sclerosis, a rare neuromuscular disorder. Art Hove Photo: UW-Madison Archives A memorial service will take place on Saturday, Dec. 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, in Madison. A reception will follow. Hove earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the university, beginning his career as editor of the Wisconsin…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Art Hove’s legacy lives on across campus

    Arthur Hove, center, looks on as president emeritus E.B Fred meets with undergraduate and senior class vice president Barbara Lee Kornblau on Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in November 1976. Photo: Norman Lenburg/UW-Madison Arthur O. Hove II didn’t just love UW-Madison; he lived UW-Madison. Before he became a trusted advisor to multiple University of Wisconsin chancellors, Hove studied with Helen C. White and Ronald Mitchell. In 1962, when UW President Conrad Elvehjem suffered a fatal heart attack in his office, Hove lifted the stretcher. “Everyone I used to know is now a building or a street,” Hove said in a 2012 profile. Hove, who died last week at…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Neal First, whose work led to cattle cloning, dies at 84

    Neal First, an emeritus professor of animal sciences, is pictured in his research lab in 1997. His work set the stage for in vitro fertilization of cattle and cloning of cattle embryos. First died Nov. 20 from complications of cancer.  Photos: Jeff Miller Emeritus Professor Neal First, a pioneer in cattle reproduction and cloning who studied animal physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 45 years, died Nov. 20 from complications of cancer. Neal First After getting his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, First started work in 1960 at the UW-Madison Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, where he taught a wide range of courses…

  • University of Wisconsin

    Julian remembered as a good friend, co-worker

    The campus community is mourning the loss of a University of Wisconsin-Madison employee who was killed in a car accident last week. Miguel Angel Julian, 71, died Dec. 12 from injuries sustained in the accident. He was born in Bell Ville, Argentina, and worked as a custodian in the Division of Facilities Planning & Management at the university since July 2006. Miguel Julian “Miguel was a hardworking, reliable employee,” said Bill Rowe, custodial services supervisor. “An easy guy to work with, Miguel will be missed by all the people he worked around.” Martha Garcia is one of those people. She and Julian worked second shift together and she appreciated how…